Pubdate: Thu, 19 Jun 2003
Source: Ottawa Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2003, Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Trevor Houlahan
Note: Parenthetical remark by the Sun editor, headline by newshawk


If there is no law governing the possession of under 30 grams of cannabis 
right now, how is it that the cops think that it is okay to take someone's 
personal property and their personal information with an eye to charging 
them later? Especially if there is no current law banning that person's 
behaviour currently.

I liken it to the government saying that in six months to a year from now 
they may change the DWI limit to only .06 from .08. Now even though there 
is no law now against driving with a blood alcohol level of .07, the police 
are going to take some action if they find you driving with .07. That 
action being that they will take your personal information and if the 
government changes the law in a year they will come back and charge you 
with impaired driving. Oh yeah, and even though you were not breaking any 
current law while driving at .07 the police are still going to impound your 
vehicle for 30 days and you will still get the automatic license 
suspension, even though there is no current law banning your behaviour.

See, the cops are making perfect sense when they say that a person's 
cannabis will be taken away and they may be charged later even though they 
are breaking no law right now. This is the way all of our laws should work. 
Kind of like the movie Minority Report where the people are caught before 
they actually commit the crime. Except in this case the people in 
possession of under 30 grams of cannabis are not actually breaking any law 
in Ontario, at least according to the Superior Court of Ontario.

Trevor Houlahan


(That's a heck of an "at least" -- and the feds do seem to be under the 
impression they can still prosecute for marijuana possession)
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